London rioters: A generation who have no reason to respect their parents or police
On an unprecedented scale, our elders have spent entire nations’ savings with shocking irresponsibly. They lie and send the poor’s youth to wars with no reasons and no ends. They have all but destroyed an entire planet’s environment—one that they forget they have only borrowed from their children.
London is burning. But it is not alone.
Remember Paris in 2005? Those were kids with no jobs, no prospects, and nothing to lose.
Athens in 2008 and then again in 2011? For decades, the old men running Greece have bankrupt the nation ensuring people their age will always enjoy pensions beyond any nation’s realistic financial means. The children finally noticed.
Looking to Asia, in 2010 alone, Chinese authorities officially registered an almost-incomprehensible 180,000 “mass incidents” (at an internal security cost of US$83.5 billion).
Or consider the Arab Spring, which so far has seen youth-driven protests topple governments in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Libya. Those are countries where the median age is very low, and unemployment rates are very high.
How about Barcelona, earlier this year? Rome, a few months before? Santiago, Chile, just last week? Or Tel Aviv? Again, all riots battled by people who were young and angry about the futures their parents are leaving them.
Then there was Toronto, back in June 2010. Tens of thousands of youths took to the streets after international leaders for years failed to even take serious issues of peak oil or climate change. Protesters gathered in the wake of an economic crisis that saw government’s primarily response be to borrow trillions and give it to the disaster’s creators, no strings attached.
On such issues, the people shouted to be heard. And then more than 1,100 of them were taken into custody in the largest mass arrest in Canadian history. (One year later, just 24 were convicted of any crime.) One must conclude that nobody wanted to listen.
As I write this, Britain is bracing for its fifth straight night of fire and violence. Earlier in the day, Prime Minister David Cameron described societal groups taking part in the riots as “not just broken, but sick”.
There was no mention of ever-growing economic disparities or what Globe and Mail correspondent Doug Saunders aptly labelled, the “futureless youth“.
But those issues are at the core of a discontent that is growing around the world.
Yesterday (August 9), a column in the Guardian attempted to shine some actual light on such matters. Its editor applied the headline, “London rioters: A generation who don’t respect their parents or police“.
It should have read, “A generation who have no reason to respect their parents or police”.
Follow Travis Lupick on Twitter at twitter.com/tlupick.